Bishop John R. Gaydos seems to rely on
the political agenda that inspired the
Emperor of Lilliput, characterized as
King Bombo (right) in the iconic
Max Fleischer cartoon.
we delivered a bound copy of
Thy Child’s Face to the
Chancery, we were threatened
with arrest and prosecution for
criminal trespass. Now that we
have had the opportunity to
absorb the full impact of your
“shock and awe” response to
our attempt to reach out to you,
we thought it time to revisit that
event and discuss in greater
detail your attitude toward the
victims of clergy sexual abuse.
The Lilliputians attempted to silence Lemuel Gulliver with slings
and arrows to the amusement of their would-be victim.
Like Lemuel Gulliver, we hoped to bring reason and understanding
to your kingdom on the banks of the Missouri River. We hoped to highlight the absurdity of your position, which mirrors the Big-Endian and Little-Endian Controversy as described by Swift in his 18th Century masterpiece.
Swift in his groundbreaking satire: a volley of slings and arrows. The difference between the Bishop of Jefferson City and the Emperor of Lilliput — Golbasto Momarem Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue — is as disconcerting as it is comparable.
in the parking of the Cathedral
of St. Joseph. The presentation
was interrupted by a mustachioed
Muppet who shouted at the
reporters and videographers to
stop their cameras and threatened
us with police action for
trespassing. The fulminating
bantam, Dan Joyce, director of
communications for the diocese,
proved to be a grim pastoral
caregiver (he is a church deacon,
no less); an embarrassment to
the legal profession (he is an
attorney); and a failure at
public relations (he has a B.A.
in journalism, Marquette
As the press conference continued he interrupted the conversation again, shouting that any attempt to enter the Chancery to deliver a copy of Thy Child’s Face would be met with an arrest warrant. He further stated that neither you, Bishop Gaydos, nor Msgr. Gregory L. Higley would accept a copy of the report.
We, then, identified in this public forum, for the first time, six child predators who have been protected by the Diocese of Jefferson City for three decades or more. These predatory priests are:
Msgr. Charles H. Patterson: 22 August 1924-6 May 2010; Ordained
12 May 1951, Diocese of Kansas City, Mo. On 27 July 1957, Patterson was appointed as the first rectors of St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary, Hannibal, Mo. He also was O’Connell’s immediate predecessor as director of vocations for the diocese.
A former St. Thomas Seminary faculty member (24 August 1971-15 July 1977), Buescher remained on the payroll and benefited from a rent-free living the last 15 years of his life in a house owned by the diocese at 708 Marshall, Jefferson City.
In addition, Gaydos allowed Buescher to deceive former parishioners who celebrated his 40th anniversary as a priest: a career riddled with drug abuse, gambling, and similar low-life activity (Buescher was assigned to an international parish in The Netherlands to escape gambling debts). And yet, Buescher received a warm send off with a funeral at the Cathedral of St. Joseph; unlike his patron, Anthony J. O’Connell, who was unceremoniously dumped into a grave with no mention of his demise.
We have to wonder about the secrets Buescher possessed that allowed you, Bishop Gaydos, to trick the parishioners at St. Anthony Church, Camdenton, who gathered to celebrate this man’s 40-year career as a priest. We also have to consider the power of this information that led McAuliffe to transfer Buescher to The Netherlands, a country that has decriminalized recreational drug use and become a venue for the transportation of cocaine, heroine, and amphetamines. During Buescher’s four-year-tenure in The Netherlands, the Dutch lowered age of consent to 12, legally permitting sexual intercourse between adults and children (the statute was in effect 1990-2002).
One of the interesting aspects about Buescher’s death is his
published obituary and the intricate detail that chronicles his assignment history. A typical obituary may include some career highlights and generalized dates, but Buescher’s is a pinpointed chronology tracked to the day and date of each assignment and transfer. Buescher’s career history is atypical for a parish priest;
and we suspect that this information is a message of support for victims of clergy sexual abuse in that it is a roadmap for those yet unable to acknowledge their past:
of St. Martin Parish in St. Martins, Missouri, from
July 10-August 8, 1971. He was on faculty at
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal from
August 24, 1971-July 15, 1977. During this time,
Father Buescher further studied at Quincy College
in Quincy, Illinois, and Saint Louis University in
St. Louis and was appointed part-time Associate
Pastor of Hannibal Catholic Parish on August 7, 1973.
in Rich Fountain and the Diocesan Youth Director
from July 15, 1977 to 1979. In 1979, Father Buescher
was away on study at The Catholic University of
America in Washington, D.C., and served as
Campus Chaplain there until 1982. While he was
in Washington, D.C., he spent a year in community
with the Paulist Fathers.
Director of the Office of Spiritual Renewal of
the Laity and to the faculty of the Permanent
Diaconate Office until 1988. He was appointed
Temporary Administrator of St. Brendan Church
in Mexico on August 18, 1986.
St. Anthony Church in Camdenton, St. Bernadette
Church in Hermitage and Our Lady of the Snows
Church in Climax Springs from July 17, 1988,
to April 16, 1990. From April 17, 1990, to
September 10, 1994, he was assigned as Pastor
of the Church of Our Saviour, the English-speaking
international Roman Catholic parish of The Hague
in the Netherlands.
City and was appointed Director of the Newman
Center at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and
Associate Pastor of St. Patrick Church in Rolla
on September 3, 1994. Father Buescher also
returned to the faculty of the Permanent
Diaconate Office and continued until his death.
Administrator of Holy Cross Church in Cuba,
St. Francis Caracciolo Church in Bourbon
and St. Michael Church in Steelville on
March 1, 1996. He was appointed Director
of the Lincoln University Newman Center
and Catholic Chaplain at Capital Region
Medical Center in Jefferson City on
May 15, 1997, until August 7, 1999.
St. Brendan Church, Mexico from August 7, 1999,
to June 3, 2000. He served as a Chaplain of the
House of Representatives from January to
May 2000, and was available for weekend
the Office of Spiritual Renewal of the Laity
on July 1, 2000, to July 1, 2004. He also
worked as a Volunteer In Corrections at the
Algoa Correctional Center in Jefferson City.
He was appointed Senior Priest in Service at
the Cathedral of St. Joseph on June 30, 2001,
until he retired on July 1, 2004, due to
Priestly Ordination on June 16, 1996, at St. Patrick
Church in Rolla, Missouri. He celebrated his 40th
Anniversary at St. Anthony Church in Camdenton
on June 26, 2011.”
Buescher’s Facebook Page Shows Suspect Bonds of Friendship
Even more surprising is a Facebook page established in 2011 for David Buescher. The page has been scrubbed but still list the identities of 57 friends, which includes three priests — David J. Veit, pastor, Immaculate Conception Church, Macon; Mark Porterfield, pastor,
St. Cecilia Church, Meta; Greg Meystrik, pastor, St. Peter’s Church, Jefferson City — and Kevin Clohessy, who was dismissed from the priesthood due to allegations and a civil suit regarding the sexual assault of a teenager. All four of Buescher’s “Friends” are graduates of St. Thomas Seminary.
Mr. Joyce for an official response. He offered none, stating that those priests named are either retired or dead.
and 1971, respectively) and we attended the Pontifical College Josephinum. We were once great chums. I thought, at first, that he would welcome me and thank me for my effort. But as time passed in the lobby of the Chancery, I realized that Higley would not appear. So I left a copy of the report, fearing that a call had, indeed, been made to the Jefferson City police department or the Cole County sheriff’s office.
St. Thomas Alumni Association website. One year later, Bishop Gaydos not refuted any of the data in the report delivered.
the Three Monsignors — Higley, Cox, and Marion J. Makarewicz — to break their
silence on the tragedy of St. Thomas. We also advised the parishioners of Cox’s
past behavior as the director of spiritual formation at St. Thomas.
The day before our press conference at the Chancery, Sunday,
6 May 2012, we stopped at Immaculate Conception Church,
Jefferson City. Our purpose: to remind parishioners that
Msgr. David G. Cox is a critical witness to the O’Connell travesty at St. Thomas Seminary and that he is a central character of the pedophile culture that is embedded in the church management structure of the Jefferson City diocese.
Cox willingly continues to shield the reputation of O’Connell. Cox remains mute to protect other seminary colleagues implicated in sexual abuse cover-up at St. Thomas, including: the Rev. Manus P. Daly, the former dean of students who succeeded O’Connell as rector; and the Rev. James P. McNally, who succeeded Daly as dean and Cox’s predecessor as director of spiritual formation. In addition, Cox engaged in appropriate behavior with another faculty member — the Rev. Gary Pool — and turned a blind to Pool’s predatory interaction with students.
We concluded our series of events in Jefferson City with a roundtable discussion Monday evening at the Inman E. Page Library at Lincoln University.
When the name of a popular student was disclosed as a target for O’Connell a gasp was elicited from the audience. This student is member of the Class of 1971. St. Thomas audience members also asked if we had had any communication from particular students as if to determine the currency of the information of the report or resolve suspicion of harm for the person in question.
my classmate said. Those who knew O’Connell were saddened
Group Releases Names of Jefferson City Abuse Victims and Priests
Advocacy Group Marks Closing of St. Thomas Seminary in Hannibal
Group Delivers Clergy Abuse Report to Bishop John R. Gaydos